Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My perfume collection - photo heavy!

I've spoken many times here on the blog about my love of perfume and I've been collecting it for as long as I can remember.  When I was a teenager, Charlie Red was the perfume of choice and who could forget So..? or Exclamation!  I think the first perfume I ever bought myself was Anais Anais, followed swiftly by Elizabeth Arden's Sunflower which later inspired my first tattoo, a sunflower.  ( My mam only knows about this one.  I have another one that I manage to hide when we're on holidays and want to get another one in July, so shhhh.)

I love reading collection posts and thought you might be interested to see what I like to smell like!  This isn't a bragging post, just a show and tell.  I've bought some and been given some as presents over the years.  I've had some for ages and I like to smell them every now and then to be brought back to a specific time.  Others have bad memories and have been flung out/given to friends who promise not to wear them around me!  My mission this year is to learn how to describe perfumes.  I love them so much that I'm doing them all a disservice not reviewing them.

First up is my Marc Jacobs trio of sprays.  I generally love perfumes that are blue and green.  I'm weird like that.  I love clean, fresh scents but also love floral ones too.  I use Grass and Rain during the summer mostly and Gardenia in the Spring.

Next up are body sprays I bought in Bath and Body Works the last time I was in New York.  They weighed down my luggage immensely but I loved them too much not to buy them and they were on some mad offer like buy 5 for the price of 3 or something.  From left to right is Sweetpea, Rainkissed leaves, Sea Island Cotton and Deep Aqua.  Hmm, more green and blue ones.  Sweetpea is really sweet and girly and is as sweet as I can handle in a scent.  I think we can see in the photo below that I seem to like Deep Aqua more than the others.  It's perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

More Marc Jacobs.  I love Daisy and have bought the original scent in every form!  I don't actually remember buying the perfume solid ring there but obviously I did or was given it and in all honesty, I forgot I had it.  Bad perfume lover.  It will be plonked into my handbag tout suite, ready at a moment's notice and not weighing my bag down.

I love me some Prada perfume.  Except for the Amber one and the new Candy one.  Not for me at all.  On the left is Prada by Prada and on the right is Infusion d'Iris.  I'm sure you've all smelled them by now.  They're both classic fragrances that I don't feel bad about dousing myself in before going out.

Next up is Very Hollywood by Michael Kors, Orla Kiely Perfume and Charles Jourdan The Parfum.  I bought Charles Jourdan's perfume a few years ago before going to New York and brought it with me.  Now, when I smell it, I'm back in the Big Apple walking through Central Park.  I've been saving the last little bit of it and will repurchase it this year.

I'm not a perfume snob at all and will try anything.  If I like the smell of it, I'll buy it.  Welcome to my Celebrity Corner!  I won Beyonce's perfume along with scents from Kate Moss and Halle Berry last year and was pleasantly surprised by them.  I mean, look at Beyonce's bottle!  Last year I bought Jennifer Aniston's perfume purely because Lollipop26 raved about it and I loved it as I knew I would.  Kim Kardashian's first perfume completes my celebrity collection and I love it.  It's a complete rip off of Michael Kors' perfume but I love it.  

I was given this Aqua Di Parma perfume for my 30th and it's a proper grown up perfume, deep and musky and it's gorgeous.  We know Elie Saab was my perfume of last summer and I think everyone has owned DKNY's Be Delicious at some point!  It's a lovely bright fragrance for the summer.

The next ones are perfumes I picked up on various trips to New York.  From left to right is a random American Eagle perfume, love it.  Viva la Juicy from Juicy Couture, love it.  A fragrance from The Gap called The Artist, adore it.  Tommy Hilfiger scent called Dreaming, love it.  So I think we've established that I love these ones.

I love me some Stila make up and nearly had heart failure years ago when I found out they had perfumes.  This one is Creme Bouquet and I have this big bottle along with two rollerball versions.  I am obsessed with Adidas scents, especially Pure Lightness and Happy Game, both of which I can only buy in Spain so I always stock up when I'm there.  I was sent the deodorant last year and to me, these two scents are my holiday ones.  If I feel gross and sweaty, squirt squirt, I feel clean again!

Last but not least is my miniature collection.  I love collecting these because they're so handy for throwing in your handbag for work or on a night out.  I've decided if I go to New York this year, I'll be buying lots of rollerball versions and mini versions so I can try them out and if I love one, I'll buy it full size.

Now, there are some absentees that need to be mentioned.  My Roger & Gallet Eau des Bienfaits is at work in my drawer and I use it nearly every day about three times a day.  Love it.  I was given Opium from YSL for my 21st many many years ago but don't know where it is.  I vaguely remember thinking about doing a post on it before Christmas and I'm sure it's in a bag somewhere, but I love that perfume so much.  It smells like winter to me and I know it's a real love it or hate it scent, well guess what folks, say it with me, I LOVE IT!  My Pur Blanca from Avon is also somewhere in my bomb site of a room.  I've spoken about that here and I can safely say I'll never be without it, ever.

I know this is going to sound weird and don't judge me, but I thought I'd have more perfumes than this.  I love them all and will continue to collect them forever and ever amen.  While taking the photos for this post, I was stinking.  I had to spray different ones on me to see if they still smelled like I remember and yes, yes they did. I have my eye on a couple more new ones that I tried out over the weekend...  When will the madness end?!  When it stops making me happy and I'm a happy camper right now folks.  Let me know if you'd like me to review any of these and I'll give it my best shot!

Are you a perfume collector too?  I will now ask you to enable moi.  Are there any new scents out there that I should check out?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Outfit of the night - going to The Oar House in Howth

This weekend I hit town first thing Saturday morning with Karen and I think the dress below was the buy of the day.  Only €9 from Penneys - bargain or what!!!  It's sleeveless with an elasticated waist and a fake pocket on each side at the top of the dress.  It's so comfortable and it's something I know I will wear in winter and summer.

It has small purple flowers with turquoise and orange bits so I teamed it with a purple cardigan I also got in Penneys before Christmas for €8 (looks wine in the photos for some reason).

To pick up the turquoise a bit more I worse turquoise earrings and bracelet.  Boots are Carvela bought in TK Maxx over Christmas.  Love them!
Look ma', I'm skinny!
It was the perfect outfit to wear to dinner at The Oar House in Howth.

Have you bought anything we all should know about from Penneys?


Monday, February 27, 2012

Ombre nails

As you know, I have an insane number of nail polishes in my collection.  Way more than the average beauty lover should have and yet I buy more all the time.  No idea why.  It's an addiction but the way I see it, I could be addicted to worse things, eh?  So, in a move to justify having a squillion nail polishes and in the hopes that some day I'll finish a bottle, I decided to use five in one go and give myself an Ombre manicure.  These were the chosen five.

L-R: OPI Miami Beet, Sally Hansen Back to the Fuchsia, Barry M Bright Pink, OPI I Think In Pink and NYC Oh SoHo Sweet.

For those that don't have a baldy notion what Ombre nails are, it's basically using five different shades of the same colour and painting each nail with a different polish, going from light to dark, comme ca!

I went with shades of pink so that the girls at work wouldn't think I was too demented.  In reality, I'd wanted to do it with green polishes but I didn't have enough shades in the collection if you can believe that.  I have countless pink polishes, I'm not going to count them for fear you will I am truly insane.  But yes, green, green ombre would be mighty fine for Saint Patrick's Day, no?

I really rather like my first ombre attempt!

Go forth and try ombre-ing your nails and get ready for people to say "eh, how come you have different nail polishes on".  They won't get it, but fellow beauty lovers, we get it, don't we?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ojon trade in day in Arnotts

Mark March the 8th in your calendars ladies!  For one day only in Arnotts Dublin, Ojon are offering you the chance to take home a full size Damage Reverse Shampoo and full size Damage Reverse Conditioner by trading in any shampoo or conditioner bottle (any brand), no purchase necessary.

I'm a big fan of the Damage Reverse products and you can read my review on them here.  I will most definitely be heading into Arnotts on the 8th to trade in one of my many empties and get my paws on these fantastic products.  I'd get in there early folks as it's only while stocks last! There are 100 bottles available so get in early to avoid disappointment!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Everyday make up look with Silvered Topaz quad from Tom Ford

At the start of the month I treated my good self to the most expensive piece of make up in my vast collection, Silvered Topaz Quad from Tom Ford and I've loved using it and playing around with the shades.  Now, if I'm to justify spending €75 (I had a €50 voucher so I don't feel so bad) on make up, you can bet your bottom dollar that I am going to use every combination of the shades that there is and then some.  I will get my money's worth so when people say to me in a high pitched supersonic voice "are you crazy? €75 on eyeshadow?!", I can say to them calmly "eh shutupaya face, haven't I used it every day, now go on and leave me be with my pretty eyeshadows".

My first look, of hopefully many, but let's face it, knowing me they'll all look the same, is a simple look that I've worn to work lots.  I apply the silver grey colour on the inner third of my eyelid and the taupe colour on the outer two thirds.  These shades go on like an absolute dream.  No fall out and oh so blendable.  I use an angled brush to apply the matte shadow along the upper lashline and under my lower lashes on the outer corner.

I use a bit of Blackberry SuperShock gel liner from Avon on the waterline to add a bit more drama to the look without taking away from the shadows themselves.  I think a black liner would be a bit harsh for this.

To say I love this quad would be an understatement.  There are subtle purple and mauve undertones to the taupe and matte shadow that complement my eye colour perfectly.  The shimmer in the shadows is so fine that you don't have to look like you're eyeballs are actually pretending to be glitter balls.  So many shadows try to go down the shimmer route but end up just looking wrong, verging on the drag queen end of the glitter scale.  I don't think going to work looking like Priscilla Queen of the Desert would be good for anyone.

There'll be more where this came from folks, I'm not finished with Silvered Topaz yet!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dotty manicure

Nail art is not my forte.  I will happily leave that up to my good pal CherrySue who is brilliant at all things naily arty.  Sometimes though, I feel inspired to try to express myself via the medium of nail art and have resigned myself to the fact that dots are the extent of my nail art talent.  So prepare yourself for lots of dotty tutorials.  I'm pretty sure I'll run out of ideas after about 4 tutorials so I'll have to do a night course or something to get better at it, or enroll in the CherrySue School of People Who Can Actually Do Art On Their Nails And Not Just Dots.

I spoke recently about pastel nail polishes making me feel like Spring has sprung and I wanted to play around with more pastel colours in the hopes that I would be able to make the weather warmer and sunnier purely because I had cute nail polish on.  The past couple of days have been pretty mild, so I'm taking full credit for that.  And you're welcome.

While I'm a big fan of nudey lips, I'm not a fan of nudey nails, but wanted to give my chosen pastel polishes a background that they would really stand out on.  I applied three coats of Sally Hansen's nail polish in Cafe Au Lait to give me mannequin nails and also the heebie jeebies.  I picked out five of my favourite pastel polishes and got thinking about what I wanted to do.  Or actually what I was capable of doing.  Dots.

I found a bobby pin and figured this could be used to dip into the polish and create the magnificant dots.  I settled on creating a French tip out of dots.  Quick and easy and hopefully cute.  The 12 year old came out in me and I decided that having differently coloured nail tips was exactly what I wanted and I went forth to create this!

I think my pinky and ring finger are my favourites.  I also decided that having nudey nails and colour only on the tips make my sausage fingers look longer.  Not thinner mind you and I'm not about to start contouring my fingers.  I hope you like my little manicure and if you have any other ideas for dotty manicures, please leave a comment and let moi know!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guerlain Voilette de Madame Rouge Automatique Lipstick

First up, let me start this post by saying Temptalia made me do it.  She made me spend €28 on a lipstick that contains less product than a MAC one (Joanne picked it up for me in Amsterdam under strict instruction and in reality here it's €33.55).  Sigh.  But I love it.  I love everything about it.  Look at the packaging.  Does that not say luxury? 

I will say that the packaging is massive compared to the size of the actual lipstick that comes out of it.  They could downsize it a bit and I'd be even happier than I already am with it.  So there's a little slidey button thing on the side of the tube that when you slide down, lippie pops up!  Except I can never remember what end it comes out of, so I need to practice more.  You also need to have most if not all of the lipstick exposed before applying it otherwise you'll end up sticking the golden tube onto your lipsticked lips and it just gets messy.  I'm also a bit afraid that if I was to plonk this in the bottom of my handbag (which in reality I wouldn't because for €28 blips this gets it's own pocket in my bag), what if the slidey thing got caught and the lipstick popped out and was ruined?  These are all crucial questions to think about and plan for when caring for a product so fabulous (read: expensive).

So, onto the lipstick itself.  As you know, I'm in search of the perfect nude lip colour that doesn't wash me out/make me look like a corpse/make it look like I've concealer on my lips.  No, I love peachy nudey colours and folks, this is it.  I *may* have found my Holy Grail nude-but-not-that-nude lipstick.  It falls into the My Lips But Better category and gives a gorgeous rosey peachy colour on my lips.

It has a creamy but lightweight texture that glides across the lips leaving them feeling moisturised and looking good.  It's lightly perfumed which I like and stays put for ages.  Ages in my world anyway, at least 3 hours.  I'm always licking my lips and pressing them together when I have nice products like this on.  As you can see from the photos below, it leaves a shine on the lips without looking like you have a gloss on.  This is me all over.  

I absolutely love this new addition to the family and can see myself going into debt picking up more shades.  Not to go too Mystic Meg, but I can also see myself repurchasing this because it's a gorgeous everyday shade that I've spent ages looking for.  So thanks Temptalia!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Avon's Blackberry Supershock liner used two ways!

I think it's safe to say that Avon Supershock gel liner in Blackberry is the runaway star of the Smoke and Mirrors collection released this month.  It's the most talked about product and I've had lots of lovely readers leaving comments oohing and aahing over it, so I thought I'd make you ooh and aah a little bit more today and look at what you can do with it.  

As I've said millions of times on this here blog, I'm no make up artist or expert or anything.  I'm just a lunatic who loves makeup in a very disturbing way and expect to be buried with it all when I kick the bucket.  The point of this is that the looks below are simple and easy.  If I can do it, so can you.  There's no faffing about with too much blending or many products this time so give it a go!

The first look is Blackberry Supershock liner on it's own.  I started off by applying it along the upper lashline, smudging it a bit and then applying another layer, just because.  I was making this all up as I was going along and seeing how it turned out. 

Because the liner is so creamy, it's hard to get a pointy tip on the outer edge, so I used an angled brush to create the little flick on the outer corner by dabbing the brush onto the liner itself.  You can see a picture of that below.  I took the angled brush under the lower lash line to see what that looked like and then applied Blackberry along the waterline, ending up with really green eyes!  Look at the difference between the first and last picture!  This is a very dramatic look but is something you can use to finish an eye look with.  

Secondly is a more subtle look that's a bit more office friendly using the two purple shades from the Smoke and Mirrors palette itself, combined with the Blackberry liner.

I started off by applying the Blackberry liner on the upper eyelid and blended it out using a pencil brush to make a base for the eyeshadows to stick to.  Note to self and you all, have your brush close to hand so you can blend the liner quickly before it sets.  I then applied the lighter shadow on the inner third of the eyelid and the darker shadow went on the outer two thirds and under the lower lashes.

To add a bit more definition, I applied Blackberry liner to an angled brush and applied it along the upper lashline.  Some mascara and that's it!  Easy peasy and will stay put because we used the liner as a base.

Now, take a look at the photo below showing the two looks side by side.  I was praying that nobody would ring the doorbell or that I'd forget my two eyes were different and I'd head out to the shops!

Which is your favourite look?  I will happily wear the lighter look to work but there's nothing like a bit of drama on the eyes when heading out for the night, am I right?!

Blackberry liner is available from your local Avon rep or here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lovely Girlie Healthy Bits - update

Hey everyone,
This is just a quick update on my lovely girlie healthy bits voyage.  For the past two weeks I've been so sick and it's really knocked me sideways.  I can quite honestly say I haven't felt this unwell for so long in years.  I haven't had a screed of energy to exercise, sitting at my desk working took everything I had and driving home from work has been an effort in itself and on most days I've had to drive with all of the windows down just to keep me awake.  I've tried to eat well, having hardly any energy to do the grocery shopping and cook and feeling so rotten just overshadowed everything to be honest.  Enough of the pity party now!
I'm feeling better this week, not 100% but I'm getting there and will weigh in this Friday and keep on keeping on!  Sickness happens in life and it's up to us to keep going.  The days are getting longer and I'm going to start going for walks after work and try to be prepared food wise during the week.  It was actually handy making salads on the days where I didn't want to cook anything, just a bit of chopping and dinner was served. 
So the journey continues folks.  Thanks for reading and for all the encouraging comments so far.

Estée Lauder Tempting Tearose lipgloss

After Christmas, Joanne and I toddled up to the Cosmetics Company Outlet in Antrim for a wee look and I did my best to restrain myself in the beauty world's version of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.  As you know, I'm a lover of nude lips and am magnetically drawn like a hovercraft to nude lipsticks and glosses.

At the Estée Lauder section of the CCO, my eyes fell upon this Pure Shine Gloss in Tempting Tearose and my beauty product photographic memory buzzed while I remembered that Tanya Burr used it in this video recently.  So it made it's way into my shopping basket and here it is.

Tempting Tearose looks darker when swatched on my arm, leaning towards the brown end of the colour scale which is a 90s trend we don't need to revisit, but on my lips, it shows up as a neutral pinky beige colour that's perfect for every day wear.  It has a creamy finish which makes a nice change for me because I'm always picking glittery shimmery glosses.  It most definitely fits in the My Lips But Better category with  medium level of pigmentation, is nice and moisturising and isn't sticky.  And look at the packaging... Simple and sleek and I can see myself having to keep this hidden from the mammy.

They come in at around the €20 mark which is a bit spendy but it's Estée Lauder and you know you're getting good products with them.  I can see myself picking up some more of these over the coming months and adding to my new favourite nudey lip gloss, Tempting Tearose!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just call me Peppermint Patty - Essence polish in You Belong To Me

I'm such a cliché.  Spring time means I'm all about pastels, less so on the make up front but my nail polish stash is currently loaded with cute pastel shades.  To me, pastels = Spring time = Easter = nearly summer.  

Of course, having a squillion shades that I could have easily written about and showed you proudly, I bought more.  I picked up this Colour & Go polish from last week along with these other two last week.  It's called You Belong To Me and it's a creamy mint green shade that is opaque with two coats.

You Belong To Me has the most subtle greeny silvery shimmer in the bottle that's non existent on the nails but that's ok, it's nice to find a creamy nail polish that doesn't go streaky even after two coats.  At €1.29, it would have been a crime against the nail polish industry not to buy this and I don't want to be committing crimes now do I?  
If you're on the market for something bright, fresh and cute and need to catapult yourself into Spring, go to your local pharmacy and pick up this peppermint bottle of dinkiness!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

YSL Dessin Des Sourcils Eyebrow pencil review

Last year I was given one of these brow pencils, loved it, lost it, and had to buy another one when I came home from Spain last year.  It retails at €24.50 and while it's on the spendy side, it's a proper investment in my opinion.  I've tried cheaper brow pencils and they've either been too soft or too hard but this is the Goldilocks of eyebrow pencils.

There's a spoolie on one end and the pencil on the other.  Shade 2 is my perfect match, taupe with a hint of ashiness to it.  I don't like shades that have any red tints to them, a cooler shade works better for me.

I decided to show you what you can do with it and create two different looks on each of my brows.  The top photo is my brows in their natural state, I know, you can barely see them!

On the left I created a really soft and natural brow and on the right I created a brow with a more tapered shape at the ends.  I'm frightened of really strong brows on me.  I can't see myself being brave enough to tint mine let alone get HD brows, I mean, there's no takesie backsies when you dye your eyebrows!  So I'm happy with my YSL pencil, very happy indeed.

This pencil is one of a kind.  It stays put all day, gives my brows the perfect amount of colour and shape and I shall repurchase many times no doubt, dare I say this is my Holy Grail eye brow pencil?  I think I do!

What's your favourite eyebrow product folks?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flutter flutter with Ja'maal Buster!

Ja'maal Buster is "The Eyelash Guru to the stars" like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce and now he can be your guru too!  Last year he released these five sets of lashes that made their way to Lovely Girlie HQ just before Christmas and I didn't get a chance to show them to you over the break so here ya go now!

Take a look at the five sets that are available from Sam McCauley, chemists and salons nationwide for €6.95.

There's something for every occasion and I thought I'd pick the ones I felt most appropriate for the day of love!  

Starting with Looking for Love and Whisper, I applied one on each eye so you could compare the two.  On the left is the very delicate Whisper and on the right is the bolder Looking for Love.

Left: Whisper.  Right: Looking for Love.

As you can see, the band on Whisper is clear really delicate and you wouldn't need liner underneath it.  With Looking for Love, the band is much thicker and you'd need to slick some liner on the upper lash line before applying them to make it a bit tidier.  I could barely feel Whisper on my eyelid whereas I was much more aware of Looking for Love just because of the thick band.

A quick note about the glue that comes with the lashes.  I'm not a fan of it at all.  It's blue and really really sticky, even after it dries and the little tube just has a snap off lid, so you can't close it up and use it again.  I used my own glue in the photos here.

With flash.  Left: Whisper.  Right: Looking for Love

Now, these next ones are my favourite of the three and they're called Sold Out Show.  They're wispy and fluttery and a dream to apply.  They've a really thin band and I would usually put a smidge of liner on my upper lash line before applying.

See?  Aren't they pretty and wispy?  I'm a big fan of wearing lashes on a girl's night out and for special occasions and Sold Out Show are light as a feather.

I'll be reviewing the other two sets from the range very soon.  Stay tuned for a smokey eye and big massive lashes!  I've a girl's night out coming up soon and I'll be wearing my lashes big and proud!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm afraid of red lipsticks and yet I managed to do a whole post on them, happy Valentine's Day!

You know, for someone who is afraid of strong lip colours and even more afraid of red lips, I have quite a few of them in my collection.  Someday I will wear them confidently, I know it!  I think my main issue is that I'm always smushing my lips together, biting them and generally messing with them all day and if I did this while wearing red lippie, I'd end up looking like The Joker in Batman.  Not a good look.

Of course today is Valentine's Day and if you're planning on doing a lot of smooching, don't wear red lipstick!  You will look like a crazy person after all the snogging and so will your other half.  Don't say I didn't warn ya! I picked out my favourite red lipsticks that I will wear some day and if you're feeling brave, go forth and slick on some red lips this Valentine's Day!

First up is Nars Pop Life Velvet Matte Lip Pencil that retails at €25.  This lip pencil gives a subtle red payoff, if there's such a thing as subtle and red.  It's really more of a coral red with really fine gold shimmer in it.  It goes on smoothly and I like that you can just apply it from the pencil, no lip brush needed.  A handy thing to have in one's handbag.

Second on our list is Avon Colourdisiac lipstick in the shade Red Hot Lips.  This is €12.75 and is available from your local Avon representative.  This blue toned red lipstick moisturises your lips while packing a punch in the colour department.

Avon's new Shine Attract Lipstick in Passionate Red is up next.  This gives a subtle wash of colour while moisturising your lips at the same time.  They come in at €11 and are available from your local Avon representative.  What I like about this red is that you don't have to be as careful applying it as it's more sheer than the other lippies here.  If you're afraid of strong colours like moi, this is a great way to dip your toe into the colourdy lipstick pool.

We're back to Nars again, but this time I'm wearing Red Lizard which is a semi-matte lipstick and retails for €25.  Red Lizard is a pigmented blue toned red lipstick that gives a beautiful finish.  I'm used to lipsticks that feel more moisturising on the lips and when I hear the word "matte" when talking about lipsticks, I expect it to be drying, but it's not at all.  A gorgeously lush lipstick!

Finally is Sleek's Pout Paint in the shade Pin Up.  A teeny drop is all I need to cover my lips and of course you need a lip brush for this along with a lip liner.  But it's totally worth the effort, I mean, look at it!  This will bleed without a liner as I found out about half an hour after taking these photos.  It has the consistency of a gloss and the pigmentation of a lipstick and makes me feel very glam altogether.  Pout Paints are available on Cloud 10 Beauty here.*

So ladies, what's your favourite red lipstick?

* Affiliate link.  Read about affiliate links here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Roger & Gallet Eau des bienfaits fragrant body mist

There are times in life where things fall into place and this was one of those times.  Earlier in the week I asked on Twitter for ideas on new fragrances I should try as I'm in the market for one now that it's Spring time.  Cut to me reading this post on on Friday and filing it in my noggin under things to try.  About an hour later, I walked by the chemist beside work and saw the bottle on display and stopped in my tracks to go investigate.  I spritzed myself and fell in love immediately, vowing to buy it come pay day.  All the stars must have been aligned because this was delivered when I got home!

Eau de bienfaits "is inspired by a journey to the heart of an Italian garden of citrus fruits, sipping on the juice of the blood orange".  The head note is blood orange essential oil and is mixed with mandarin, bergamot and lemon essential oils making it a really fresh and vibrant fragrance at first spritz.  There are floral aspects to the scent in the form of violet leaves and one of my favourites, orange blossom, finishing up with cedar and patchouli that gives depth and warmth to the scent.

When I spray Eau de bienfaits, I'm immediately transported to Spain on a warm, sunny morning.  It's an invigorating, bright, refreshing scent that makes me smile and wakes me up every time I spray it.  It's going to be kept at work for when I'm feeling tired and lethargic and need a pick me up that doesn't involve coffee!

Now, not only is it an energising fragrance, but it's full of active ingredients that hydrate and soften your skin.  Containing aloe vera, kiwi extract, ginseng extract and fruit acids, these are combined to hydrate, soften, stimulate and smooth the skin.  All the more reason to spray it from head to toe and enjoy!  I've found a scent that is going to help me enjoy Spring and look forward to Summer.

This is available in selected pharmacies now and is €33 for 100mls.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Burt's Bees trio tin gift set, have made themselves happy in the bottom of my handbag and on my desk at work

My friend Ruth knows me so well and before Christmas we sat in our usual coffee shop having the ultimate chats and exchanged little Christmas pressies.  I got her Lush's Marilyn hair treatment and she got me the cutest little trio of Burt's Bees tins.  It has the beeswax lip balm, lemon butter cuticle cream and hand salve, all in dinky tins with 8.5g of product in them.  I'm told that this was a Christmas offer but keep your eyes open in case your local pharmacy might still have some and they are €12.95.

Things like these make me happy.  They're can sit happily on your desk at work without cluttering things up and they're light.  This is a very important factor when deciding to add items to the vast stash in your handbag.  The tins themselves can be fiddly to open sometimes and I think a tin that you'd twist to open would be a bit better especially if you fire these into the handbag like I do.

I thought I'd talk you through each of the products so if you see them being sold on their own, you're well informed!  First up is the hand salve.  Described as being "a farmer's friend", this medicinal smelling (to me it smells like Vicks) salve is solid in the tin but softens becoming an oil when you rub your finger in it.  It melts into the hands and leaves a layer of oil on the skin that slowly absorbs into the hands, leaving them soft.  Now, my hands aren't that dry or cracked so I can't comment on how it works on that type of skin, but what I can tell you is that I've loved using it at night time before going to bed.  It means that I can relax and let it sink in at it's own speed and not offend anyone with the smell, which I love by the way. A little goes a long way and I still have plenty of my little tin left.  I know this type of scent isn't for everyone so try before you buy but if you like scents that remind you of an old apothecary, then you'll like this.

The Lemon butter cuticle cream is next on the list.  I've tried Lush's Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter before and Burt's Bees' offering smells pretty much the same.  What I didn't like about Lemony Flutter is the thing I love about Burt's Bees' one, in that it's not at all greasy.  It doesn't leave a bunch of really shiny cuticles when you apply it which makes me happy.  It has a really fresh lemony smell that isn't overpowering and does a great job of keeping my cuticles in check.  No longer do I have to use whatever's on my finger after applying my lipbalm!  Love this and would buy it again over Lemony Flutter.

Finally is the Beeswax lip balm.  Made with 100% all natural ingredients, this peppermint scented lip balm tingles and has a cooling sensation on your lips when you first apply it thanks to the peppermint oil.  Because it's a more solid lip balm, you need a bit of elbow grease to get enough out to cover your lips.  To combat this, I use the back of my nail to scrape a little bit off and go from there.  It glides over my lips leaving a smooth thin layer of product and I don't feel like I've a load of product on or that I've shiny lips.  Love it.

Now, let's talk prices.  The Beeswax lip balm is €3.95, a full size cuticle butter is €7.95 for 17g and a full size hand salve is €10.95 for 85g.

So folks, have you tried any Burt's Bees products?  Share with the class and tell us all!
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